Two for the price of one

A bulb went off for us the first time we made this. Saturday breakfast rituals were born.

A bulb went off for us the first time we made this. Saturday breakfast rituals were born.

Do you love a good deal? I know that my heart beats imperceptibly faster when I hear the words "two for one" in pretty much any consumer context.

If you share this slightly frugal nature, you'll appreciate the joy we felt when, one Saturday morning, we tried tossing our leftover pizza toppings into an omelet. The results were ridiculously good - and oh so efficient!

Mind you, these aren't fussy oeufs meant to demonstrate technique (though there are plenty of primers on how to the proper French method quickly). They are the kind of hearty and quick-to-come-together fare my husband loves to cook up for the two of us. 

The recipe below for caramelized fennel and onions brings out the best in its small ingredient list. Crunchy, intensely herbal fennel (a favorite of ours in pasta sauce) becomes mellow and lusciously soft as it cooks, and onion, that workhorse kitchen staple, starts to toe the line between savory and sweet.

We even used the same cheese from the pizza in our eggs as the night before - in this case, a nutty fontina. Just remember that you don't need to limit yourself to one format: These would go equally well in a fluffy frittata. 



Caramelized Fennel and Onions

Adapted from Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Optional: Fresh thyme leaves, removed from woody stems and roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet, heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high.

  2. Add fennel and onion, seasoning with coarse salt and ground pepper. Add thyme if using.

  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

  4. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Depending on the heat of your pan and cut of your ingredients, this may take more or less time. You will know the mixture is done when the color begins to take on an amber or golden brown hue, deepening much like sugar does when making a caramel sauce. 

  5. To finish, add 1 tablespoon water, and cook, stirring constantly, until  completely soft, roughly 2 minutes. Mixture will keep in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks in Tupperware - but I doubt you won't find a use for it all before then.